Making a Will

Use this guide to help you get started.

It’s easy to make a will – and it will save your family unnecessary distress at an already difficult time.

Why making a Will is a good idea

Without a Will the law decides who will inherit your assets and possessions when you die. This could mean that your possessions don’t go to the people and loved ones you want them to.

The law aims to protect your husband, wife or civil partner and any children you have; it does not protect unmarried partners or step-children.

Getting help from a Solicitor

Whilst you can write your own Will it is a good idea to ask a legal professional to draw it up for you. This helps to avoid any problems and ensures the document will include the right information.

Will writing charges vary so you will need to approach legal firms for a quotation. Every January Teesside Hospice hosts Will Month where local solicitors give their time for free in exchange for a donation to Teesside Hospice – take a look on our events page to find out which solicitors are taking part.

You can write your own Will but the wording must be clear and the document properly signed and witnessed. However, it is usually best to get this done professionally.

Making your Will

Step one 

Choose who your executors will be. They will be responsible for ensuring your wishes are fulfilled. It is common practise to appoint at least two executors in your Will, in case one is unwilling or unable to act for you when the time comes. You are best checking that the people you want to name as executors are happy to take on the job.

Your solicitor or bank can be your executor however they will charge a fee for this.

Step two 

Try to calculate the value of your assets, including any property, investments and debts.

Step three 

Decide which family members, friends or charities that you’d like to remember, and what type of gift you’d like to leave. Your solicitor can talk you through your options.

Step four 

Make an appointment with your solicitor and have your Will drawn up. Your solicitor will keep a copy of your Will, but you might like a copy of your own. If you do, remember to keep it safe.

Step five 

It is a good idea to give your executors a copy of your Will and a list of your property and possessions, or at least let them know where to find this information.

Step six

If your circumstances or those of the people you have names in your Will change, make sure you review and update your Will accordingly.

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